Psalm 24

24A: The Earth, with All That Dwell Therein

Performance Notes:

Tune Information:

LOBT GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN is a relatively short tune for a German chorale, but it is distinguished by insistently repeated soprano tones and a charming rising-scale motif that leads into the final phrase. The tune was composed by Nikolaus Herman (b. Altdorf, near Nuremberg, Germany, c. 1485; d. Joachimsthal, Bohemia, 1561) and first published in Ein Christlicher Abentreien (1554) as a setting for a children's hymn by Herman about John the Baptist. The tune's name derives from its use since 1561 with the chorale text "Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich."

Herman spent most of his life (1518-1560) in the mining town of Joachimsthal, where he served as schoolmaster in the Latin School and organist and choirmaster in the Lutheran Church. After a careful study of Martin Luther's writings, he adopted the Protestant faith. Many of his 190 hymn texts were inspired by the sermons of Johannes Mathesius, pastor of the Lutheran Church where Herman worked. A writer of hymn tunes as well as texts, he often wrote his hymns for use in homes and schools, but they gained acceptance as well in a number of Lutheran churches. His texts and tunes were included in Die Sontags-Evangelia (1560) and Die Historien von der Sindfludt (1562).

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalter, 1912, alt., P.D.
  • Music (LOBT GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN 8.6.8.6.6): Nikolaus Herman (1480-1561), P.D.
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    • Words and Music: Both are in the Public Domain. You do not need copyright permission to reprint it.

24B: Lift Up Your Heads, O Gates

Performance Notes:

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 24:7
st. 2 = Ps. 24:8
st. 3 = Ps. 24:9
st. 4 = Ps. 24:10

This text owes its origin to the tune VINEYARD HAVEN and the original text of its refrain: "Hosanna, hosanna, rejoice, give thanks and sing." Because of the association of those words with processionals, Bert Polman versified the processional part of Psalm 24 (vv. 7-10) in 1986 for VINEYARD HAVEN so that this grand tune could be included in the Psalter Hymnal. The text was first sung to this tune in one of Polman's evening hymn sings at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, Hamilton, Ontario.

Tune Information:

Richard Dirksen composed VINEYARD HAVEN in 1974 for the text "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart" as a processional choral anthem for the installation of Presiding Bishop John Maury Allin at the Washington (D.C.) Cathedral, also known as the National Cathedral. The anthem includes various harmonizations for different stanzas and is scored for choir and organ with optional brass and timpani accompaniment. VINEYARD HAVEN was first published as a hymn tune in Ecumenical Praise (1977). Dirksen wrote that the quality of rejoicing was intended to foreshadow the raising of "such 'Hosannas' forever in [God's] presence and with the company of heaven in the life eternal." The tune is named after the town on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where the Very Reverend Francis B. Sayre, Jr., who was then Dean of Washington Cathedral, had his permanent home.

Erik Routley once stated that it is "safe to call [VINEYARD HAVEN] one of the greatest twentieth-century hymn tunes." After related phrases rise sequentially in pitch, the tune reaches its peak in the "hosanna" refrain and at that point exhibits the melodic and harmonic surprises which, though initially difficult for a congregation, endear this tune to many Christians today. VINEYARD HAVEN requires full, bright organ registration. Sing this majestic tune in unison. To capture the question-and-answer character of the psalm text, the choir or part of the congregation may sing the question in the first line of stanzas 2 and 4, and everyone can sing the responses.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Bert Polman, 1986, © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Music (VINEYARD HAVEN 6.6.8.6 with refrain): Richard Dirksen, 1974, © 1974, 1987 Harold Flammer, a division of Shawnee Press; arr. © 2011 Harold Flammer, a division of Shawnee Press, Inc., reprinted by permission of Hal Leonard Corporation
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24C: The Earth is the Lord’s

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1079 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words and Music: Graham Kendrick © 1986 Thankyou Music, admin. EMI CMG Publishing
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24D: A Responsorial Setting

Other Resources:

  • Purchase an octavo or CD recording of this song that is published by GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words and Music: The Community of Taizé © 2007 Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, Taizé Community, France, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent
  • Psalm Text: from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • When reprinting the Psalm Text and Tone, please use the correct copyright information. Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in worship settings.

24E: Lift Up the Gates Eternal

Performance Notes:

Joy and excitement are contagious when congregations get drawn into singing a tune such as promised ONE, an Israeli folk melody. In The Presbyterian Hymnal (177) Psalm 24 is set to this tune. (In many other hymnals "The King of Glory" is set to this tune.)

Many congregations will already know this tune. For those that do not, a soloist can lead the first presentation. Indicate that the congregation is to join the soloist on a repetition of the refrain before the first verse and again after each of the succeeding extended verses. (Point out to the congregation that the refrain is sung only after the verses ending with an R.) Piano and/or guitar accompaniment is recommended.

The second week the congregation will be ready to sing without a soloist. Add some of the suggested easy-to-learn handbell or percussion ostinati found on page 23.

The instrumentalists can lead a gradual accelerando throughout to heighten the energy and enthusiasm of the singing. Additional percussion, presentation suggestions, and the little descant ending for the final refrain are also found in the Psalter Hymnal and Songs for LiFE.

For another week, divide the congregation for antiphonal singing, perhaps by center aisle: One side of the aisle sings the first phrase of each verse, and the other side answers. Each couplet divides conceptually, and the antiphonal style echoes the couplet style of the psalm. Everyone sings on the refrain, perhaps once again with a bit of percussion.

Shirley McRae has arranged PROMISED ONE in a small collection of unison anthems for children's choir with Orff instrumentation and presentation suggestions ("Lift Up Your Voices," CGA622). The text in this setting is the text from the Psalter Hymnal, but the Orff, obligato, and movement suggestions can be used with either text.

The content of the psalm and the mood of the setting make this hymn appropriate for a season of Thanksgiving. The refrain also can be carried into the Advent season as a congregational opening, or sung with the Advent candle lighting or as a congregational response.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources. 

Copyright Information:

  • Words: sts. Arlo D. Duba © 1986 Arlo D. Duba; ref. Willard F. Jabusch © 1966 Willard F. Jabusch, admin. OCP Publications
  • Music (PROMISED ONE 12.12.12.12): Israeli folk melody; arr. John Ferguson © 1974 United Church Press
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